Mexico should put 'El Chapo' in a plane and send him to the US
My friend Alfredo Corchado of The Dallas Morning News has a detailed account of "El Chapo's" capture in a Mexican resort.
It is clear, as Alfredo reports today, that this was a US-Mexican cooperation:
"The operation that led to the capture of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was an unusual joint effort carried out by Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials who were down to the wire in a manhunt for the world's most-wanted drug capo, according to a top U.S. law enforcement official.
Guzmán, head of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, and an associate were captured at 6:40 a.m. Saturday in a modest yellow and white beachfront hotel in the Pacific Coast resort city of Mazatlán. No shots were fired.
The weeks-long operation that led to his capture involved agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security
Department, as well as U.S. marshals.
The top U.S. law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Americans were given less than a month to work closely and on the ground with the Mexican navy to capture the longtime fugitive, whose empire stretched from the streets here in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, throughout North America and to Europe, West Africa, Asia and Australia.
"The Mexican government gave us a set time, and we were right down to the wire - in fact, down to the last day," said the U.S. official. "This couldn't have been more dramatic, but the arrest was a credit to our long working relationship with Mexican marines, who led the operation."
In Mexico City, President Enrique Peña Nieto confirmed the capture via his Twitter account, and Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karám lauded the work of Mexican authorities, particularly marine commandos. He credited U.S. intelligence for assisting but did not elaborate.
Asked whether U.S. law enforcement officials had assisted on the ground in Mazatlán, a Mexican official said only, "This was a Mexican operation."
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Department of Justice had placed a $5 million bounty on Guzmán's head, called the capture a "landmark achievement, and a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States." He said the U.S. government "salutes the government of Mexico, and the professionalism and courage of the Mexican authorities, for this arrest."
Guzmán's arrest, which captivated Mexicans in Ciudad Juárez and throughout the country, was likened to the killing of Osama bin Laden. "El Chapo Captured!" screamed the headline of an afternoon newspaper in Ciudad Juárez."
Again, both governments, as well as all of those agents on both sides, deserve a lot of credit for a successful capture.
What happens next?
Mexico has to put him on trial and convict "El Chapo." This is going to take time and it will be very dangerous for public officials who work in the prosecution. The cartels are going to get very aggressive and target public officials all over Mexico.
This is why Mexico needs to send him to the US and get "El Chapo" out of their jail as soon as possible.
I spoke with a Mexican friend on Sunday who confirmed that there are fears south of the border that "El Chapo's" jail will be a target for a terrorist attack or that he may escape.
Again, send him north and let US authorities hold him. He will not escape here.